Painting the whole Picture: Handel at His Best
Sunday, January 16, 2011
In this show, Kent explores the physical and painterly beauty of the choral sound world. And there's no greater master of painting a picture with music than George Frideric Handel. Yup, you know Messiah; you've probably overdosed on it at this point. But Israel in Egypt, while not as famous as Messiah, has perhaps the most powerful examples of word painting in all of Handel's works. Listen to the buzzing of the violins as they onomatopoetically describe the flies, lice, and the rest of the famous Egyptian plagues...
Later, the full dark choral texture creates a visceral depiction of the darkness that enveloped Egypt, and finally the orchestra undulates with the sound of the waves of the Red Sea.
Also on the program, Kent describes how he got locked inside Westminster Abbey with Handel's grave just under him. Spooky!
Finally, an exploration of the text of the Sanctus: you'll hear very different settings of this deeply spiritual text, from Machaut to Duruflé and of course, J.S. Bach.
On an Upcoming Choral Mix: When Gramophone magazine recently ranked the world's 20 best choirs, and it found America lacking. Indeed, not a single U.S. group made the list. In advance of our Jan. 30 show, we invite you to listen to a pair of side-by-side musical comparisons .